Menzies opts to look at bigger picture as Girlz find going tough in France

In France

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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GRENOBLE, France — It is often said that wisdom comes from experience.

Wisdom is believed to be the stored memories of our mistakes and the pain associated with those mistakes. It comes with time and through trial and error.

There is no alternative for experience, and the realisation and intelligence to correct one's mistakes is known as wisdom.

It is against this backdrop that Reggae Girlz Head coach Hue Menzies is taking his young squad's Fifa Women's World Cup debut in strides despite two disappointing defeats so far in their campaign.

Playing from Group C against the likes of Brazil, Italy and Australia, all experienced and top-ranked teams, Menzies and his 53rd-ranked team were always expected to have their hands full.

However, they have so far managed to hold their own and have by no means been embarrassed by their more illustrious and experienced opponents.

Menzies believes the experience of an opening 0-3 defeat to Brazil and a 0-5 scoreline against Italy at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims on Friday, both came with lessons for the Girlz.

“There are a lot of things that we learnt from these game because I totally think that we can play with these teams, its just that we make these simple mistakes that we can't recover from. But playing these level games in these types of environment is the key.

“The psychological component of being in an environment like this, we just switched on and the more and more we play these type of games, the more we understand how to stay switched on.

“Remember this is 23 years and eight months, that's the average age for this team and we had a 17 year old out there. So this is a great time for experience and remember this is just a part of the journey so we just have to keep plugging,” Menzies declared.

Following their latest defeat against Italy, Menzies, though admitting his team's flaws, lauded the players for what was a gutsy display even while staring defeat in the face.

Cristiana Girelli scored a hat-trick for Italy while substitute Aurora Galli grabbed a brace to book their spot in the Round of 16 on six points with one group game against second-placed Brazil (three points) to come.

“The positive thing is that our players went after it and they didn't give up, if you just walked into the stadium you wouldn't know it was a 5-0 game, especially towards the end of that second half, we were giving it everything and I have to give them credit for that

“We fixed some of the mistakes that we made in the first game, so we did make some strides, but as we go through this process, there are new things that come up that we have to deal with and we just have to keep fixing it. Again if we play more of these games, 10 games coming at this level we would fix a lot of things before we get here,” the tactician said.

The pointless Jamaicans at the foot of the standings would require a wide margin of victory over third-place Australia (three points) on Tuesday to stand a chance of progressing as one of the best third-placed teams.

“Obviously, when you come into a tournament like this, obviously we are in a tough group, we are playing against country's that has resources, a lot of resources and we have to invest in our programme, that is important,” Menzies noted.

“We are the youngest team and hats go off to Italy... I think they are disciplined, their commitment to defend is unbelievable and that's where we as a team have to take a page out of their book. There are a lot of things we can learn here.

“But at the end of the day, we have to be doing this (playing at this level) more often because we have the tools, we really do. We have the components and the natural athletes to do this. We just have to, as a country, as a nation, as corporate Jamaica, come and invest in football,” Menzies added.

Along with a lack of experience, Menzies and his team face some amount of pressure to do well in this historic campaign, as they seek to continue garnering support from sponsors and regular Jamaicans home and abroad.

He again stressed the fact that their historic qualification to the World Cup is a part of a aim and desire to have adequate development and sustainability at all levels in the women's programme.

“Remember from day one we said this was bigger than the World Cup what we have to face, this is just a part of the journey and that is something that we consistently talk about. So, this is a learning experience because I am telling you in the next four years, the next eight years if we have our players' it's a totally different team if we get the resources and we have to continue to do that.

“I tell them sometimes we think we are great but when you come here on this stage, you see excellence and that is what we have to be, we have to be in the environment to create excellence and its unfortunate for them that we have to come here to learn but they are here and they have to learn from it,” Menzies reasoned.

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